AS THE country moved towards a sense of normalcy this year, concerts and big hoo-ha events postponed some time ago came back into view.
For Anoushka Shankar, it meant a revived and slightly revamped Shankar 100 at the Southbank Centre in London. Originally scheduled for April 7 2020 – on the 100th anniversary of her great father sitarist’s birthday, it was postponed by a year but in 2021 another lockdown meant that plan had to be shelved too.
Finally, this March and just before going to press, Shankar 100 has been resurrected and will get properly under way.
Shankar has herself been busy – especially as playing live and in person became possible at the tail end of last year – both in the UK and wider afield. She was back in Berlin in November for Reflektor. This is a festival Anoushka curates and it celebrates Indian music.
She brought the likes of big Indian classical names such as Aruna Sairam, and Indrani Mukherjee and fellow British artists Soumik Datta (sarod) Bishi (singer-songwriter) and Nabihah Iqbal (guitar) to Reflektor and rounded off the long weekend of music with a concert on Sunday, November 7, marking the production of her latest album, Love Letters.
The creation of this album was something of a departure for the artist. Sometimes, from the depths of despair, artists find a creative outlet which forces them to take chances and expose their own vulnerability.
That Anoushka Shankar did this with Love Letters is a triumph of artistic enterprise.
Her album Love Letters was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Global Music Album category in 2021, and takes the total number of her Grammy nominations to seven in all.
She was also nominated for an Ivor Novello Award for her music for the TV series, A